Saturday, March 6, 2010

Marathon of Walks. 5 in 3 days. PART I

Wow. So some of us decided we want to finish our walks soon so that we have time do do whatever we want at the end of the study abroad, and just go back to the ones we really enjoy. So Rosalie, Rebecca, and I have been going at it crazily! They are actually doing 6 in 3 days, but I already did that. So here goes Part I. The walks we did on Thursday, and Today (2 each), and the other 3 we did yesterday will be in Part II.

So the one we did on Thursday, right after the Salon D'agriculture (which was a blast fyi, I will post more after I'm done with the walks), was the Seizième Arrondissement walk. I thought we would see Mansions since it's like the rich area of town, but there were just really nice apartments. I guess it's like Taipei where some apartments are ridiculously expensive. Anyways, we started out at this tiny island Allée des Cygnes which is really a dyke meant to protect a harbor on the Seine. Here's me walking on the bridge that connects to the little island.

I guess in National Treasure 2, Nicholas Cage flies an airplane or something around here. It goes from the Eiffel Tower then back here and then he goes to this little Statue of Liberty that Bartholdi used to create the big one in New York City.

We then move on to see the building titled Castel Béranger. It's designed by Hector Guimard and shows Art Nouveau's style in France. It's a type of architectural design. The professor that wrote this walk, Dr. Robert Erickson, really likes this style. I think almost every one of his walk has something about Art Nouveau. It's a pretty cool apartment, but we just aren't able to go inside as it's still a private building. And the places he made us see on the Metro walk were just so far out of the way, when all around Paris we see some of the same Art Nouveau designs. Anyways, I saw a house by Hector Guimard that I really want to see. It's in Normandie though unfortunately. Enjoy these ones in Paris for now:

Then we walked down a cool little cobblestone path. It was really nice and quite, and I liked how we got off the main paths. It's rue Berton, and it's quite narrow. Supposedly it pretty much stayed the same in the last 200 years. There was also this museum we went to called Maison de Balzac, but since nobody knew who he was, we didn't feel like going in. I guess he's a famous French writer. There was a nice pretty garden outside of the house that we relaxed a bit. (the walk is really long distance wise, and we've been up a lot for the Salon d'agriculture). tThen we went to a tiny mall with bathrooms! I thought it's funny it's included in the walk, but I think it's great since we do need to use it sometimes and Paris does not have much public bathrooms. And then we left to the Park! Les jardins du Ranelagh. There was the little carousel with a man pushing it. Haha. I didn't expect it to be so old-school but it looked fun and the kids had fun trying to stick their sticks into the rings!

After that we went to the Musée Marmatton but we weren't allowed to take pictures. There were quite a few famous people in there, including Monet, Renoir, etc... and some other people we learned about in our Art History class. Oooh I feel so cultured now. I have a new favourite contemporary (relatively) artist. His name is otis or something but I lost the postcards I bought for now, hopefully I find it soon. I've just been so tired and busy, I got home Thursday and spent like 2 hours just relaxing and then went to bed. Friday I was gone 13 hours from 11 pm to a little past midnight. So I need a day to just relax and get everything organized cuz right now it's pretty much I wake up and then shower and rush out the door! I also saw Monet's first painting, Impression, Sunrise, that gave name to the Impressionism movement. Then we looked at the Bois Boulogne which wasn't that cool from the outside, but one of these days I might go back and stroll through it. Its supposed to be dangerous at night too. It was only 5 pm I think but we were just tired.

Today (saturday) we did the Bastille Walk, or the Walk of the Manifs (Protestors)
This walk goes through where French people have been protesting for hundreds of years, since the French Revolution. It's significant because they go down this road and it leads to where the old Bastille Prison was. We started by looking around at Saint martin Canal. It smelled a little bit and it's supposedly built in order to bring fresh water...but I guess that was like 200 years ago so. This looks so magical in Amélie the movie haha. Oh well. I think the music helps a lot too.

Then we went to the place de la République and guess what, there were people protesting!! I had hoped for the same since it was Saturday, and starting to warm up a bit. Shaina was saying they're protesting against the French law that forbids Muslim women from covering their head, among other things. It's like a group against female suppression I think.

They were even in the process of putting their "uniform" on one of the statues:

So the walk goes on for like another mile or two, but the book said we can just skip it and go to their end destination which is the Bastille area! This is where the former prison stood. Now there's a really new Opera house, and a ton of restaurants. This is what's left of the foundation. They found it while digging for the metro.

Then we went to this street that had a bunch of art boutiques, and on the top of it was this old railroad track they changed into a park/running track. That's jolly Bart. It was pretty cool but we didn't walk far since it was 2 pm and we hadn't eaten lunch yet. So we went to Quality Burger Restaurant !!! :)


  1. so youre assignments are to go on these walks? i thought you just went on walks because it's something to do and to get to know the culture. i didn't know it was required.

  2. Yup it's a class I signed up for. And it's cool but sometimes it's just too many walks. (And it's kind of a lot of hours for 1 credit) but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. It shows you Paris.